It raises all sorts of difficult political issues that could have been (should have been!) foreseen before we got to this stage.
Unfortunately, SSE seem to have powered ahead with the prospect of their windfarm in Pairc being foremost in their minds, rather than the approved Eishken development, or the possibly larger Eishken development that is still going through a PLI.
The next application that will have to come in is under s39 of the Electricity Act for the pylons to run between Gravir and the windfarms (unless the cables are undergrounded) and if you think that the battle over the turbines was fierce....
The Minister would have to approve any compulsory purchase wayleaves that SSE applied for, leaving the community with almost no input to the decision, unless the community benefit for the Paric windfarm can be extended to embrace the landfall location of the interconnector.
Of course, our MP and MSP promised to stop any windfarm development (later amended to 'any non-community') but now find that their Government have allowed the first development to take place and almost certainly will end up approving the compulsory wayleaves for SSE, as there are few grounds for refusal. And if the Eishken PLI finds in favour of the extended development.... Their overall lack of understanding of the proposals is, of course, why they are currently being silent on the issue.
In the meantime the Council are getting a kicking as being 'responsible' for the plans. Plus ca change.
Sitting on the sidelines and watching all this happening is both entertaining and frustrating, as I know that I could have ensured that it was all handled much better. However, I think it is going to get messier before it gets better, and I suspect that Gravir will have this hanging over the village until the other side of the Scottish Elections in 2011. That will be exactly the sort of 'planning blight' that Lingerbay suffered, and we all hoped never to see again.
Let me reiterate something I have said many, many times before: all of these planning decisions need to be taken promptly, whether they are for approval or rejection. Vacillation is not an option.